We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
A reader sent in this photo of an Eastern American Toad (Bufo Americanus) in the garden this past weekend. Everybody enjoys stumbling upon these goofy critters, which tend to be active at night (when the sun will not dry them out) or during rain. If find it remarkable how often they can be found far from any pools or ponds in which to breed. They travel.
I remember rainy days in Cape Cod when the baby toads had completed their magical transformation from tadpole to tiny (1/2") toads in August in such numbers that you could hardly find a place to put your foot, like Red Efts on cloudy days in the Berkshires.
The only thing I know that likes to eat them is the Hognose Snake, and I've never seen one of them.
Scientificalistical experts have proven (the debate is over) that if you touch a toad, you will get warts, but if you are a girl, and kiss one, it will turn into a Handsome Prince (but you will get warts all over your face).
We have tons of Eastern Toads here. Like all critters, it cheers me to see them.
I don't buy either of the evil magical things attributed to toads and frogs. We have several big ones that seem to have been here for years that we have to pick up and move because they are where a pansy is about to take up residence.
I do worry when it is raining hard and the back lawn is almost alive with little bitty critters (toads, frogs, and tree frogs) moving up the lawn away from the river a mile or so away.
Can't help but wonder "What do they know that I don't?" in the heavy rain.
Laurence F. Sheldon, Jr.
Amphibians are plugged into the weather reports. They have to be, to survive. They dry out quickly, and love to party in the damp.
Old geezer walking by a pond. Frog says: Help me. I'm an enchanted princess. Kiss me and I'll be yours forever. Geezer picks up the frog and puts it in his pocket. Frog: What about the kiss? Geezer: At my age I think I'd rather have a talking frog.